What visitors (and most locals) commonly mean when they say “Manila” is really a 620km² megalopolis made up of no less than 16 different cities – among which, confusingly, is the city of Manila itself. The traveller is met with a dizzying array of choices – one may go from the fast-paced modernity of Taguig to the historic, romantic atmosphere of Old Manila within the same day, or compare the creative vibe of Quezon City with that of Makati.
When to go:
Except during the monsoon season (typically June to October), there are many different things to do at all times of the year. The summer months (March to May) are popular for travellers who fly in through Metro Manila on their way to one of the country’s countless beaches. The cool, dry period between November and February is underrated, while the Philippines’ famously long Christmas season starts as early as September all the way through the beginning of January. The accompanying lights are a sight to behold.
How to get around:
Metro Manila is known for its unpredictable traffic and confusing streets, so a car hire or ride-sharing service would be best. Thankfully, these options are relatively inexpensive in the Philippines.